December 2015 newsletter

Christmas get-together Come and meet the core group and other like minded people who want action on climate change. We’d love to see you at our Christmas get together and celebrate the wins we’ve had this year. We’ll be upstairs at the Hunters Hill Hotel on Tuesday 5 December from 6.30 pm. Hope to see you then.

Were you there?  Did you come to the Sydney rally and join the 30, 000 people from all walks of life to tell our politicians attending the Paris talks that we want strong and decisive action on climate change?  Have a look at images from Australia and the world and be inspired by the combined call for action on the most important issue of our time.

Australia and Paris Disappointingly, but not surprisingly, the Australian Government has failed in a number of ways at the Paris talks to fully embrace taking strong action. Malcolm Turnbull did not sign a communiqué pledging to phase out fossil fuel subsidies (to satisfy National party members and fossil fuel industry). He signed up to double investment in clean energy but the government is still pursuing the abolition of agencies (ARENA and CEFC) that support the development and financing of clean energy. The anti-windfarm, anti-solar, anti-renewables and anti-climate policies of Abbott’s government continue to dominate the government’s (non)action on climate change.  Next year will be busy for us all to change this.
The only bright light was The Australian Solar Council has become a founding member of the Global Solar Council, launched at the COP 21 climate change meeting in Paris on 5 December, 2015.  The world’s leading regional and national solar associations have come together to accelerate the uptake of solar technology across the globe.

Banks and 2 degrees The Commonwealth and NAB banks have stated their support for keeping warming below the world target of 2 degrees and flagged moves to increase investment in renewable energy.  That’s great but we actually need them to commit to phasing out all fossil fuels.  Sign the petition to ask them to do so

Bill Shorten and coal mining Just to show how out of touch the Labor Party is, Bill Shorten recently announced “Labor is not going to stop coal mining”  while standing among the people of the Pacific Islands whose lives will be devastated by the effects of climate change. Both the major parties are disregarding the calls from the Pacific Islands call for a moratorium on new coal mines and the calls from the majority of Australians to move away from fossil fuels.
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TPP The Trans Pacific Partnership details have finally been released and it’s not good news for the environment.  The provision for corporations to sue governments where their profits are endangered remains, environmental safeguards are inadequate and climate change is not even mentioned.  It needs to be passed in parliament. Sign the petition to tell Labor they have support in the community to vote this down.

Stories of hope While Australia struggles with the concept of renewable energy, the Guardian newspaper has lots of stories where people in Africa are installing renewable energy. Read and feel encouraged that they don’t need coal to make their lives better. Stories from Morocco , South Africa, Tanzania and Burundi

Cash for containers This scheme will see the reduction of recyclable containers in our environment.  Watch this short video to explain what Cash for Containers is about and sign the petition to ensure NSW Government goes ahead with this promised scheme as it looks as though the government will try and wiggle out of implementing it.

Indonesia is burning As you would be aware, the forests in Indonesia, home to orang-utans and tigers, are burning because of palm oil and paper companies.  Sign this petition to the government of Indonesia to take action.

Green energy guide Does your energy supplier use renewable energy sources? Find out by looking at the independent Green Energy Guide and use it to find out who is.  AGL, Origin and Energy Australia don’t rate well.

Taxing the sun? The Baird government has proposed to tax households who have solar panels on their roof as well as proposing a way of charging for electricity that will hit low-income owners and more energy efficient households. The proposal will also encourage more energy use.  This is contrary to the government saying it wants to be like California in terms of renewable energy. Sign the petition and let’s stop this proposal .

Christmas gift giving How about giving a donation to one of the many environmental groups that are doing great work to increase the awareness of climate change and protecting habitats?  Here’s a few suggestions. Nature Conservation Council  to protect nature ( ; 350 org to support the keeping fossil fuels in the ground ( ; EDO (Environmental Defenders Office) to help communities under threat from fossil fuel mining ( ;Solar citizens to support solar PV ( ; Rainforest Rescue ( to support their work to protect our rainforests; National Parks of NSW to protect our parks from mining and logging (; Lock the Gate to stop CSG mining (; Wilderness Society to help protect our wild places ( ; Climate Council to help spread the word about climate change (

National marine sanctuaries The review about marine sanctuaries has still not reported to the government months after it was due.  Write a letter to your MP and ask they support marine sanctuaries and protect these areas from oil and gas mining and commercial fishing. A letter is worth 100 emails.

National seafood guide The Australian Marine Conservation Society has a useful guide to sustainable seafood.  Go to their website and download their free app

Superannuation Is your super fund invested in fossil fuels? Find out if it is and take action to get your retirement savings out of fossil fuels.  Go to

Exxon under fire Exxon is under investigation in USA for lying to the world about climate change and the Commission for Human Rights in the Philippines is considering an investigation into all Big Oil companies for fuelling climate change and violating human rights. Write to the Commissioners and show your support to open the investigation.

Citizen Scientists National Parks Association has a new publication called Survey Techniques for Citizen Scientists.  Get it at